Twenty three current and former NFL players -- including 12-year NFL veteran Charlie Batch, 2012 Patriots Hall of Fame inductee Troy Bown, and 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Croutch — will take part in the first-ever NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp from May 13-16 at Bowling Green State University.
With the new longer offseason, the boot camp is one of a record 10 training programs for post-NFL careers that NFL Player Engagement offers to current and former players.
The four-day program will focus on improving each player’s writing skills for newspapers, radio, and the expanding digital media industry. A field exercise at a Toledo Mud Hens home game will include a mock press conference as part of the player’s game coverage. Players will write and record their own radio commentary as part of one of the other planned exercises.
“The Mud Hens are honored to be part of the collaboration between the NFL and Bowling Green State University for its inaugural ‘NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp’,” says Joe Napoli, president and general manager of the Mud Hens. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to provide former professional athletes the use our facilities to learn another aspect of sports.”
Faculty for the boot camp will include Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Peter King (Sports Illustrated, NBC), and Barry Wilner (Associated Press) as well as former NFL players-turned-journalists Solomon Wilcots (CBS, NFL Network), Matt Bowen (Chicago Tribune), Matt Chatham (Boston Herald), and Bucky Brooks (NFL.com and NFL Network).
The boot camp is hosted by the BGSU School of Media and Communications and the Sport Management program and was developed with NFL Player Engagement, under the auspices of the Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project.
Player enrollment criteria include previous participation in NFL Player Engagement programs, prior media experience, essays, and NFL playing experience.